Many communities are trying to retain and attract businesses to provide economic development and jobs. With the loss of tax increment financing in California, and constrained local budgets, identifying incentives is more challenging than in the past.
One proven draw for new businesses are new public amenities or upgraded local infrastructure. But, how to pay for it? One mechanism is “value capture” as discussed in this The Atlantic CityLab article. In short, designing a regulatory scheme or zoning code that generates funds or actual public improvements (amenities or infrastructure) in exchange for the additional development potential on private property. This is similar to residential projects receiving concessions (e.g. more units, decreased parking requirements, etc.) for including affordable housing under California’s Density Bonus Law.
There are various examples of this sort of value capture or “public benefit incentive zoning” around California, such as Burbank’s Media Overlay District Zone, Santa Ana’s Transit Zone, Culver City’s Mixed Use Ordinance and Santa Monica’s General Plan Land Use and Circulation Element.
We expect to see more examples developing as post-redevelopment creativity increases.